Events & Statistics
Origin of the War. On June 28, 1914, the Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne, and his wife, the Duchess of Hohenburg, were assassinated in Serajevo, the capital of Bosnia. The assassin, a student named Prinzip, was arrested and held for trial. Although he was a Bosnian, feeling in Austria ran high against Serbia, which, it was claimed, was responsible for...
Military Technology in World War I
World War I was less than one year old when British writer H. G. Wells lamented the fate of humanity at the hands of "man's increasing power of destruction" (H. G. Wells, "Civilization at the Breaking Point," New York Times, May 27, 1915, 2). Although considered a father of science fiction, Wells was observing something all too real—technology had changed the face of combat...
The Lusitania Disaster
On May 7, 1915, the German submarine (U-boat) U-20 torpedoed and sank the Lusitania, a swift-moving British cruise liner traveling from New York to Liverpool, England. Of the 1,959 men, women, and children on board, 1,195 perished, including 123 Americans. A headline in the New York Times the following day—"Divergent Views of the Sinking of The Lusitania"—sums up the initial public response to the...
Pictures as Propaganda
U.S. newspaper coverage of World War I (1914-18) provides a unique perspective on wartime propaganda. The scope of articles and images clearly exhibits America's evolution from firm isolationism in 1914 to staunch interventionism by 1918. Once American soldiers joined the war, public opinion at home changed. And newspapers helped change it.
The Rotogravure Process
Gravure printing originated in the early nineteenth century. The process did not become widespread until the early twentieth century, however, when newspapers embraced this new technology. Characterized by quality halftone reproductions printed at high speed on a variety of paper stock, gravure printing allowed the newspaper industry to reproduce photographs and art work on a mass scale on inexpensive newsprint paper.